J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside: Chris Coyne (Northeast Boxing) returned on 6/20/14 with “Summer Thunder” at the usual venue, the Hilton. The dynamic little ballroom wasn’t quite SRO this time, but the near-full house included Hall of Fame promoter Russell Peltz, visiting from his own promotion just down the road in Wilkes Barre, to take place next night. Matchmaker Renee Aiken presented four bouts atop an exciting pro-am card. There were no bad decisions, but the upset main event arrived there by divergent courses.
The main event six proved a stunner between Robert Sockwell, 158 ½, E. Stroudsburg, 7-3-1 (5), and Jonathan Garcia, 155, Aguada, PR, 4-8 (1). When the Puerto Rican exploded out for round one with a wild, flailing attack, it looked like he was made for the sharpshooting counter puncher Sockwell. That wasn’t to be. The southpaw favorite took the first two rounds, jolting Garcia with a left in the first and frustrating his efforts to find a way inside in a tame second. The visitor’s answer was to up the ante. It was a whole new fight in the third. Sockwell throws short, sharp punches with some pop, but picks them like Christmas tree ornaments. Garcia just had to attack more vigorously and throw more punches, and Sockwell couldn’t pose his way around all of them. A closing volley with Robert trapped in a corner edged the third to the underdog. A big clobber right drove Robert’s head back over the ropes in the fourth. He came back with a stinging counter left, but Garcia outworked him to even the fight.
Sockwell got his counters working again in a close fifth and appeared to regain the lead going into the fateful final round. Action was tight and tense, fans going crazy, with Sockwell in the lead about two-thirds through when he tried to fall inside and tie Jonathan up. Garcia dug a right underneath to the solar plexus and Robert went to a knee. Referee Gary Rosato (all bouts) gave him a count. That might have made the difference in the scoring, but it didn’t. While Bernard Bruni still had Sockwell winning, 57-56, Dave Greer and Mike Somma awarded the split decision to Garcia, both by a wide 59-54.
In a wild and undisciplined four, Stephon Burgette, 154, Dunmore, 4-1-1 (1), and winless Rick Graham, 153 ½, Detroit, 0-4-2, rocked the house with a wide-open slugfest. The stronger Burgette established a body attack in a rugged and bruising first. Graham pulled out all stops in a torrid second, although off balance and pushing his punches. Stephon rocked him with a right cross to start the third, then belabored the body while fans went bozo. The game underdog had nothing left and could only survive a battering in a big final round by the hero. Greer scored 40-36 and the others 39-37.
There was nothing pretty in a bruising four between Brian Donahue, 194, Phila., 3-9-2, and debuting Derrick Brent, 197, Wash./Balto., but it was a good and competitive fight. Donahue stepped in with a short right to drop Brent early in an otherwise inconclusive first. Southpaw Brent evened the score, flooring Donahue with a right-left combo early in the second. Brian suffered a bad cut to the right eye in the round. The third was close, as Brent scored counters early but Donahue began to muscle him around. The fourth was all Donahue, as Derrick was exhausted and Brian took it to him. Somma scored 39-36, the others 38-36, unanimous for Donahue.
In a brisk boxing match, debuting Anthony Abbruzzese, 153 ½, Phila., faced Shakir Aquel Dunn, 153, Newark, 1-3 (1). The circling Dunn made good use of the jab, but Anthony kept his guard up, showed a greater variety of punches, and set the pace to pick up the majority decision in four close rounds. Bruni scored a draw, the others 39-37.
120 – Elijah Pintabone, Pintabone Boxing, Bethlehem, RSC2 Jessie Burke, Scranton BC
122 – John Padilla, Reading Inner City, dec. Vinny Scarantino, Jim’s Warriors, Old Forge, 3-0, 3 rds
158 – Nick Senofonte, Scranton BC, RSC2 William Feliciano, Jim’s Warriors
140 – Davri Aquino, Jim’s Warriors, RSC3 Jawanza Dillard, Tobyhanna BC
152 – Zack Williams, Reading Inner City, dec. Howard Sweeny, Scranton BC, 3-0, 3 rds.
128 – Rocky Marzan, Scranton BC, dec. Juan Sanchez, Allentown BC, 3-0, 3 rds